Tag:Andre Smith
Posted on: August 19, 2011 5:43 pm
 

Bengals decline to pick up Andre Smith's option

SmithPosted by Josh Katzowitz

While the news
that the Bills had release 2009 first-round pick Aaron Maybin automatically came with the analysis that Buffalo had made a bad pick and that Maybin was one of the biggest draft busts in recent memory, not too much has been said lately about Bengals T Andre Smith.

You know, the guy who was picked five spots in front of Maybin.

And perhaps Smith hasn’t been quite as terrible as Maybin, who still hasn’t recorded a sack in his career. But Smith has been a major disappointment for Cincinnati. And that’s why it’s not a surprise to read the news from the Cincinnati Enquirer’s Joe Reedy that the Bengals have decided not to pick up the option on Smith’s rookie contract.
 
The option would have extended Smith’s four-year contract by two years, and the team would have owed him more than $17 million. Instead, the contract will now end after the 2012 season.

After the Bengals made him the No. 6 pick in the 2009 draft, Smith got $21 million guaranteed, and almost immediately, he began his slide to irrelevance. He held out in 2009, and then almost immediately injured himself in practice. Then, he got overweight again (let’s face it: he’s perpetually been overweight) and hurt himself again last year.

Andre Smith's Journey
In all, Smith has made just four starts in his career (and has played in just 13 of 32 possible games), and he’s let a less-talented player named Dennis Roland continuously beat him out for a starting job. And while Smith played LT at Alabama and was expected perhaps to take over that position in the NFL, there’s no chance, barring injury, Smith could beat out Andrew Whitworth these days.

Smith has been better this year so far in the preseason, but as Reedy points out, the decision not to extend the contract has nothing to do with the past three weeks.

Instead, it’s all about his performance (or non-performance) during the first two years of his career.

“After several conversations it was decided it would not be picked up now, but both sides are optimistic about the future,” Jimmy Gould, Smith’s co-agent, told the Enquirer. “He’s doing well and we’re encouraged.”

That could be, but the chances of Smith playing in a Bengals uniform in 2013 have grown slimmer with this news. Then, like Maybin with the Jets, Smith might have to find a new location where he can rejuvenate his career.

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Posted on: April 19, 2011 2:12 pm
Edited on: April 19, 2011 11:30 pm
 

Offseason Checkup: Cincinnati Bengals

Posted by Andy Benoit



Eye on Football's playing doctor for every NFL team with our Offseason Check-ups.



After the Bengals fell behind the eight-ball with a devastating turnover-infused loss to the Bucs in Week 5, they went into their bye a lowly 2-3 and searching the depths of their character for answers.

Problem was, the depths of their character included the collective souls of Terrell Owens, Chad Ochocinco, Pacman Jones, Rey Maualuga, Tank Johnson, Cedric Benson, Michael Johnson, Andre Smith, Carlos Dunlap, Frostee Rucker, Jonathan Joseph, Leon Hall and whatever other players on the roster who, at one point or another, have raised the red character flag.

None of these guys were individually heinous in 2010 (save for Owens), but collectively, they created a staggering void in the leadership department.




Offensive scheme

Bob Bratkowski is out as offensive coordinator, and deservedly so. In terms of complexity and sophistication, the Bengals’ system in 2010 was comparable to that of a really sophisticated Pop Warner team’s.

The receivers’ route combinations rarely worked off one another, making them easy to defend. The play-action game was non-existent, which was fitting because the run game was an afterthought.

Which brings us to the change: more power runs under new coordinator Jay Gruden. Expect Cedric Benson to re-sign and get about 25 carries a game. Not only is he best suited to be a bell cow, but the Bengals powerful but heavy-footed offensive line is best suited to play downhill, rather than in the frequent drop steps of pass protection.




1. Quarterback
Carson Palmer insists he’s retiring if the team doesn’t trade him. Owner Mike Brown may be great at playing hardball, but it would take a hardhead to keep Palmer around at this point. Besides, Palmer’s skills have declined (though not as much as you’d probably guess) and he clearly doesn’t trust his offensive line or receivers.

2. Pass Rusher
This need is almost as glaring as the potential need at quarterback. Antwan Odom has not been the same since injuring his Achilles. Robert Geathers was never the same after blowing out his knee. (Unfortunately for the front office, both players were inked to long-term deals before their injuries.) Athletic ex-Gator Carlos Dunlap earned some high marks as a second-round rookie last season, but equally as prominent were his low marks.

3. Interior Offensive Lineman
Right guard Bobbie Williams is aging. Left guard Nate Livings is the definition of average. Or maybe center Kyle Cook is. Whatever; the Bengals need more athleticism inside up front.




A healthy goal for the Bengals would be to regain respect. Self respect, that is. Individually, the Bengals are more athletically gifted than a lot of teams.

But their athletes have not lived up to potential or played well together. Ushering in a new wave of leadership would plant some positive seeds moving forward.

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Posted on: March 18, 2011 11:32 pm
 

Would Andre Smith be better off as a guard?

A. Smith (Getty) Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Bengals OT Andre Smith is only the latest first-round draft bust selected by an organization known pretty well for its first-round draft busts.

Cincinnati selected Smith No. 6 in the 2009 draft, and despite his awful decision to run the 40 at his Pro Day without his shirt, the Bengals paid him a fortune to be the left tackle of the future.

That obviously hasn’t happened, as former G Andrew Whitworth holds down that position in Cincinnati (and despite a lack of Pro Bowl recognition, does a pretty darn good job of it).

So, what to do about Smith, who signed a six-year, $42 million deal at the beginning of his career (with $21 million guaranteed)? After all, he’s perpetually overweight, and he’s perpetually hurting with injuries (the two aren’t necessarily independent of each other). He’s only made five career starts, and for most of his career, he’s been behind Dennis Roland, a much-less talented but harder-working giant of a man.

ESPN.com’s
James Walker floats an interesting idea.

According to Walker, the Bengals coaches are discussing the idea of making Smith a guard instead of a tackle. As Walker writes, “perhaps a move inside could help jump-start Smith's career. He's never had the prototypical body for an offensive tackle. His strength is his girth, not his feet or ability to move quickly in space. Therefore, his weaknesses won't be exposed as much at guard.”

It’s maybe not a bad idea.

But, even so, you have to question the Bengals scouting and drafting skills to move their future left tackle inside to a guard position. Well, unless, you’re owner Mike Brown – then, you cite an obscure stat about how your draft days are relatively successful and go merrily on your way.

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Posted on: November 11, 2010 9:51 pm
 

Andre Smith hits another road bump

It appears A. Smith could be done for the season (US Presswire). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

Just when it appeared former Bengals first-round pick Andre Smith was turning a corner in his career, the foot he broke in practice this week might keep him out the rest of the season.

That’s what Bengals.com’s Geoff Hobson is reporting.

It’s the same foot the offensive tackle broke last year in the preseason when he came into training camp overweight for his rookie year. He also had offseason surgery after last year that made him ineffective for much of this season, much to the Bengals coaching staff’s chagrin.

But he’s begun to improve, enough for him to earn the spot at starting right tackle. Now, though, it appears his season is finished.

And the consequences might not be pretty for Smith.

From Hobson:

Complicating the physical concerns are the financial issues. The Bengals have to decide this offseason if they want to exercise a $5 million option in his deal that would make it a six-year contract or decline it and keep it at four years.

The fear is that what happened this past year will happen again. He got heavy enough while rehabbing (some reports had him as high as 375 pounds) that it delayed his return to the field. It is believed he is down to 345 pounds after some furious dedication in the cardio and aerobic room but he’ll be warned a repeat performance would jeopardize his career.

Lewis doesn’t think it will happen because he’s matured. They’ve had their moments. He deactivated Smith for the third game in Carolina when he wasn’t happy with him. But asked what another injury like this does to Smith’s career, he said, “Nothing. It means it’s another bump in the road.”


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Posted on: October 12, 2010 4:35 pm
Edited on: October 12, 2010 5:37 pm
 

Top Ten With a Twist: Overpaid players

J. Delhomme is making more than $19 million this year. He's probably not worth it (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

I saw a stunning stat on Twitter as the Browns mucked their way to a loss against the Falcons this past Sunday. It had to do with how much money QB Jake Delhomme is pulling in this year. Naturally, the number is ridiculous, as I’ll detail further in the below paragraphs.

But it gave me the idea for the newest edition of Top Ten With a Twist. Who are the most overpaid players in the game today? By overpaid, I mean the players who are either busts or has-beens or guys who simply found an owner who decided that spending tens of millions of dollars on a problem child was the way to go.

I’m not talking about rookies like Sam Bradford. Of course, the first-round NFL draft picks are overpaid, but at this point, I’m not including them on this list (it’d be an entirely new list altogether). Instead, I’m including guys like Delhomme – either guys who have been around the league for a while who are getting a good payday because they were good at one time, or guys who were supposed to be good but haven’t shown it.

Be forewarned: the salaries we’ll discuss might make you a little nauseous. So, pop a Dramamine or two and let’s go.

10. Eli Manning, QB, Giants: Before last season, you’ll recall, Manning signed a seven-year deal worth $106.9 million that pays him an average of about $15 million from 2009 through 2015, and that doesn’t include his endorsement deals. There’s little doubt that Manning is the most important player on the team, but is he really worth the money? I’m not saying Manning isn’t good, because he is a good quarterback. But he’s not an elite top-five kind of guy, and he’s making elite top-five kind of money. For what it’s worth, he currently makes more than his brother, Peyton (and his oldest brother, Cooper, for that matter).

9. Marvin Austin, DT, Tar Heels: OK, we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves if we’re talking NFL. But look at the damage Austin – well, the recruitment of Austin – has done already and look how much money it’s cost the people around him. Austin apparently accepted gifts and other improper benefits from agents (the NCAA determined it was worth between $10,000-$13,000). As a result, Austin was kicked off the team Monday and UNC teammates Robert Quinn and Greg Little have been made permanently ineligible, the NCAA has brought up academic violations, coach Butch Davis might get fired, the Tar Heels football program has been set back in a major way, and the school in general has taken a hit to its reputation. That’s quite a bit of money Austin indirectly is costing everybody, and as one of my colleague says, “And he hasn’t even played yet!”

8. Joey Porter, LB, Cardinals: Blame the team in this case instead of the player. The team which gave a 33-year-old LB a three-year deal for $17.5 million which could max out at $24.5 million. Porter was coming off a pretty good season in Miami in 2009, where he recorded nine sacks in 14 games. This year, though, has been a rough one. He’s recorded 16 solo tackles, good for 10th on the team, and he’s only recorded one sack through the team’s first five games. No doubt that Porter has had a standout career, but there’s also little doubt that he’s not the player he once was. He’s still making good bank for it, though.

7. Brandon Jacobs, RB, Giants: Perhaps if Jacobs had been signed as a discus hurler, his four-year, $25 million extension that he signed before last season would have made sense. Instead, Jacobs is solely a RB who’s gained 172 yards in the team’s first five games and who’s lost his starting position (for the record, in 2009, his attempts rose from the 2008 season, but his yards gained fell and his touchdowns dropped from 15 to five). Plus, you had the throwing-his-helmet-into-the-crowd incident at the Indianapolis game. The $15 million he was guaranteed doesn’t look so good now.

6. Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Raiders: We’re not discussing rookies in this list, but that doesn’t mean we can’t talk about second-year players (or players that are still in college, I suppose). For some reason, the Raiders took him with the seventh pick in the 2009 Draft, and then they blew up the slotting system by awarding him a five-year contract worth $38.25 million ($23.5 million guaranteed). He promptly went out and caught nine passes in 11 games. This year, he’s got 11 catches through five games, so that’s an improvement. Good thing the Raiders took Heyward-Bey instead of, say, Jeremy Maclin.

5. Tyson Jackson, DE, Chiefs: He was the third overall pick of the 2009 Draft, and while he wasn’t great last year – hell, he wasn’t even decent – he wasn’t the worst bust in the history of the Draft. It could be argued that he wasn’t nearly as bad as Glenn Dorsey, the Chiefs 2008 first-round pick who had tallied exactly two sacks in his first two years. But Dorsey is playing better this year, while Jackson – 38 tackles last year but zero sacks – has been out with a sprained MCL. At this point, he’s a big disappointment.

A. Smith still hasn't won a starting job with Cincinnati (Getty). 4. Andre Smith, OL, Bengals: The one thing I’ll always remember about Smith – aside from the whole running-the-40-shirtless-at-his-pro
-day-only-to-be-mocked-unmercifully
thing – is that after he signed his contract for $21 million on HBO’s Hard Knocks, his agent turned to him and said, “Congratulations. You’re a millionaire now.” Yep, that’s pretty much how he’s acted the past two years in Cincinnati. He’s been overweight, and his work ethic has been questioned. He only played in six games last season, starting one, and he still can’t be used as an every-play offensive lineman. Dennis Roland, who’s much less talented than Smith, has been starting ahead of him.

3. Matt Cassel, QB, Chiefs: One good year can get you a big contract, and for proof, look no further than Cassel. In 2008, he led the Patriots to a 11-5 record while completing 63.4 percent of his passes for 3,693 yards, 21 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. After New England QB Tom Brady returned, Cassel signed with the Chiefs for a six-year, $63 million deal with $28 million guaranteed. Not bad for a career backup in the NFL and in college at USC. This year, he’s completed 54.7 percent of his passes for 650 yards (about 162.5 yards per game), four TDs and three INTs. That’s not much production for a guy being paid a lot of money.

2. Albert Haynesworth, NT, Redskins: You thought I was going to put Haynesworth No. 1, didn’t you? While we’ve spent so much time on Haynesworth and the $100 million contract and the tens of millions of dollars of guaranteed money, he’s begun to play better lately (he sat out this past week, though, after the death of his brother). Surely, he’s not worth the money, but considering some thought he could have been released from the Washington squad at this point, the fact he’s still playing is sort of a win. Sort of. Still, it’s hard to overlook the fact he’s made six tackles and recorded exactly zero sacks this season.

1. Jake Delhomme, QB, Browns: Ah, the impetus for this column in the first place. Delhomme, between what the Browns and his former team, the Panthers, are paying him, is making $19.7 million this season. Doesn’t that number just absolutely blow you away? He started the first game of the season but was lost for three games with an ankle injury. Then, he backed up Seneca Wallace against the Falcons on Sunday, replaced him when he went out with an ankle injury and then reinjured his own ankle. He’s likely to be out for a while now. On the year, he’s 33 of 60 for 324 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions. Not real good. Not a real good return on Cleveland’s money either.

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Posted on: September 23, 2010 9:59 pm
 

Andre Smith feels he's making progress

Former first-round pick A. Smith has been a big disappointment in Cincinnati (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

I know that you’re hungering for some Andre Smith news. The Cincinnati Enquirer’s Joe Reedy is aware of it as well. That’s why he gives us an update on one of the biggest busts from the last few NFL Drafts.

The Bengals OT continues not to get much playing time. Partially it’s because he’s battled injuries in his two seasons in the league, and partially, it’s because he’s still not in the type of shape Cincinnati’s staff expects.

Now, Smith says he’s not back to where he needs to be but he’s getting closer.

From Reedy’s blog post:

Smith has been mainly used when the Bengals have run goal-line and unbalanced line plays, but he has seen a couple snaps too spelling Dennis Roland.

He has also been seeing time daily in practice at right guard, which is a position he has not regularly played since his freshman year in high school. Smith estimates he is seeing about 10-15 reps there every practice.

“Coach Lewis told me as long as I’m a backup to make sure I can play more than one position,” Smith said. “I just have to take advantage of the snaps when my number is called. That’s the frame of thought that I’m taking when it comes to playing time.”


Still, not a great spot to be in – whether you’re talking about Smith or the Bengals – if you’re the No. 6 overall player drafted in 2009.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: August 20, 2010 5:30 pm
 

Eagles-Bengals tonight: why to watch

Posted by Andy Benoit

Just one game on the preseason slate tonight: Eagles @ Bengals (8:00 ET FOX). So what’s a reason to watch?

Well…the McNabb-Owens thing no longer applies here. And Owens is facing his former team, but it’s in Cincy, not Philly, so that’s a little off the mark.

This game does mark the epic return of right guard Stacy Andrews to Paul Brown Stadium, but if we highlight that, then we’re assuming that people care about Stacy Andrews…

Okay, here’s a legit reason to watch: Eagles defensive end Brandon Graham going up against Bengals right tackle Andre Smith.
Graham has been turning heads in practice. Smith finally returned to practice this week (he’d been out with a left foot injury). We’ll assume Smith will see action with the backups in this game.

Both Graham and Smith are super talented and primed for breakout campaigns, as long as they can stay on course. They’re at the beginning of that course tonight.

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Posted on: August 6, 2010 12:23 pm
Edited on: August 6, 2010 1:40 pm
 

Report: Okung, Seahawks reach 6-year deal

Posted by Will Brinson

Update: The "agreement to terms" is offcial, via the Seahawks' Twitter feed . Bonus: nifty picture of Pete Carroll and Okung meeting in Seattle.

Well, that was fast -- shortly after a report that C.J. Spiller agreed to terms with the Bills surfaced , news is now coming out that the remaining unsigned first-rounder, Russell Okung, has agreed to a six-year deal with the Seattle Seahawks.

ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports that Okung, the sixth overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, agreed to terms on a contract that will pay him up to $58 million over the life of the deal, with $30 million guaranteed.

Provided that both the Okung and Spiller reports are accurate, all of the 2010 first-rounders have now signed or at least agreed to terms with their respective teams.

This is also the earliest that all first-round picks have been signed in the last five years -- Michael Crabtree, Derrick Harvey, JaMarcus Russell and Matt Leinart (the last picks to sign in their respective drafts) all held out until at least August 14th or later.

Okung, charged with replacing the legendary Walter Jones at left tackle, gets a substantial financial step-up from last year's sixth-rounder, the Bengals' Andre Smith. (Smith signed a four-year deal with $21 million guaranteed, but the deal contains a team option that would extend the deal to six years, $42 million with $29.5 guaranteed, so Okung's overall value is skyrocketed over Smith's although his guaranteed cash isn't.)

For relative value purposes, Joe Haden, drafted one spot below Okung, got a five-year deal worth $50 million and $26 million guaranteed, while Eric Berry received a six-year deal worth $60 million and $34 million guaranteed from the Chiefs.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com